Moriah Wilson, who went by the nickname Mo, was shot and killed on Wednesday, May 11, in Austin, Texas, at a friend’s home, just days before she was to compete in the Gravel Locos race and only a week before her twenty-sixth birthday (which is today). The Austin Police Department reported her death as a homicide, and say that the identity and motive of the shooter remain unknown. Though the police did say a person of interest has been identified and that the shooting doesn’t appear to be a random act.
We at Whole Champion Foundation are saddened and enraged by Moriah Wilson’s death, as she was a dear friend of our family. We are dismayed she was violently taken away from her personal dreams, from her loving family, and from her extraordinary circle of friends.
Moreover, we don’t comprehend how someone could want to kill humble, soft-spoken, thoughtful, and caring Moriah. In the time I have spent with her, I felt like her smile reflected her exquisite essence – a beautiful, kind, loving, intelligent, happy, and positive person. She was humble in character to her core.
Moriah Wilson spent hours with my family and in my home. She lived with us while settling into her first real job after college. As a person, she was discerning, caring, respectful, and up for any new challenge, in this case it was the all new office job as well as exploring the San Francisco Bay Area by foot and bicycle. Those of us in her life held the utmost of respect for her. In every conversation we had with Moriah, it immediately became clear she was a gentle person who existed in 100% integrity. She listened, she shared, she was thoughtful, and she magically let us know the time spent together was meaningful to her.
She also possessed an inner ability to know that physically, she was one of the best in her sports. At Dartmouth College and before in her youth, Moriah skied competitively. She also played soccer throughout her childhood and at Dartmouth, Throughout, she was a talented cyclist. John Dwyer, Dartmouth Women’s Alpine Ski Coach, said this about Moriah Wilson: “In college, as a D1 alpine ski racer, she was technically sound, but unfortunately two blown knees hampered her overall progress as a competitive athlete. Yet it didn’t sway her from her focus and drive to continue to get better and faster every day. Moriah showed up every day with the same amount of desire, determination, and want to be the best she could be.”
As someone who has known her over the last five years, I personally saw her extreme discipline and determination to maintain the highest level of fitness go unrivaled. Yet with grace and compassion, she never imposed her personal needs or fierce drive upon others.
As a cyclist, she was super talented, recently becoming a dominant gravel and mountain bike racer. Moriah Wilson placed second at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB last year, and then won a bunch of races this year including Fuego 80K at Sea Otter and the Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego. Her upcoming races included the Migration Gravel Race and Evolution Gravel in East Africa. In fact, she recently resigned from her job as a demand planner at Specialized Bicycles, so she could race full-time.
Moriah Wilson Racing in Sea Otter Classic Fuego 80K XC Women’s Race
Moriah Wilson’s family released a public statement after her death. We have reprinted part of it here:
We thank everyone for their expression of love and support for us in this difficult time. While the tragic loss of Moriah is unfathomable, at the same time we want everyone to join us in celebrating her life, accomplishments, and love for others. Always pushing tirelessly to reach her goals, we knew she was pursuing that which she loved. We will miss her terribly and know that all mourn her with us…We hope everyone feels her passion and support as they chase their own dreams. Her spirit will be there with you all, while training and on every race day.
Eric, Karen, and Matt Wilson
While I and my daughter Foreste are ourselves mourning the loss of our dear friend, our hearts also grieve for her family. And once again, I’m questioning the easy ability of people in this country to access guns and use them in acts of violence. One more person I consider a Whole Champion has been taken from the world too soon. This one is devastating and we’ll need time to mourn.